Image for Dwarf Birch

Dwarf Birch

Scientific name

Betula nana


The Dwarf Birch is a small, hardy, deciduous shrub species that typically grows about 0.5-1 m tall. This species may also be known by the common names: Swamp Birch, Arctic Dwarf Birch, or Alpine Dwarf Birch. The leaves are alternately arranged, simple, dark green colored, small, thick, leathery, round shaped, and have round toothed margins. The flowers are small, greenish brown catkins that appear in May-June. These catkins produce tiny samara seeds, which ripen in September-October and disperse by wind. Dwarf Birch has an extensive root network and is useful for controlling erosion. Dwarf Birch can be confused with Resin Birch but is distinguished by the lack of resin glands on the twigs and leaves.

Planting conditions

Dwarf Birch grows best in wet to moist conditions with full sun exposure. It can tolerate a range of soil types, pH levels, and low nutrients. This plant is intolerant of continuous flooding but may be tolerant of periodic drought. This shrub is also shade intolerant so should be planted where it will have some sun exposure. It is very tolerant of the cold and considered a winter hardy plant. This shrub is naturally found in bogs, fens, along river or lake shorelines, and in rocky tundra habitats.


  • Plant height:
    • Max 1.5m
    • Max 2m
    • Max 3m
    • Any
  • Moisture level:
    • Dry
    • Normal
    • Moist
    • Drought Tolerant
  • Light conditions:
    • Full sun
    • Partial sun
  • Soil type:
    • Sandy
    • Loamy
    • Clay
    • Rocky
  • pH:
    • Acidic
    • Basic
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Potted
  • Eco Zone:
    • 1a
    • 1b
    • 2a
    • 2b
    • 3a
    • 3b
    • 4a
    • 4b
    • 5a
    • 5b
    • 6a
  • Plant type:
    • Shrub
  • Height:
    • 1 m
  • Spread:
    • 1 m